Well known management guru Jagdish ‘Jag’ Sheth says that successful Indian companies are becoming arrogant and complacent, and this arrogance may eventually bring them down. He predicts that in 2 years we may not see an Indian IT goliath. He predicts IBM will be India’s biggest IT company.
Elaborating on the problems that will plague Indian IT companies, he talks about the lack of diversity of leadership. Very few Indian IT companies would have a non-Indian heading their company. At Wipro, it was he who told them that the board is all-Indian, and finally got a non-Indian on the board. Infosys, according to him, is even worse. In fact, all senior leaders are not just Indians, they are south Indians. There’s not a single north Indian in the top leadership of Infosys. To become truly global, Sheth believes that Indian IT companies need to build in more cultural diversity in their leadership.
Sheth can’t stop talking about how serious IBM is on its India strategy. IBM CEO Sam Palmisano deliberately held the annual get-together of all his worldwide analysts in Bangalore . He invited 10,000 people. He also announced that he’ll invest $6 billion in India in three years. That’s $2 billion a year. Two billion a year is 50 per cent of the revenues of Infosys. So he has made a commitment.
IBM’s clarity of thought and vision seems admirable. Given the volume of procurement from China , they shifted the whole global sourcing from the US to Shenzhen (China), where they’ll have their own subsidiary. India will be their base for capturing talent and resources.
Sometime ago, Palmisano said he believed that the next CEO of IBM does not have to be an American. “If my market is going to be Asia , then it’s likely that it should be Chinese or Indian or Asian.” He also believes that the headquarters of IBM should be relocated. Sheth feels that IBM is really thinking differently, something he does not see in Indian corporations.
Anupam Mukerji • Bangalore, India • www.mmi-india.com